Land has profound significance for South Africans. Inscribed on their home soil and seared into popular memory are tales of fierce clashes over rights to ownership, of victory, heroic deeds and the anguish of loss. A turbulent past has given rise to contrasting concepts of territory, and a complex set of relationships between people and the spaces they occupy. Even so, the desire to imbue the landscape with symbolic meaning is evident everywhere, and nowhere more so than in rural South Africa, where the most common expression of attachment to a place is found in the names farmers have assigned to their properties and, by extension, the farm gates they have built and embellished to serve as the portals to their land. Gate looks at the diversity of names that have been given to South African farms, and provides a photographic record of the distinctive styles landowners have chosen to celebrate the humble farm gate.
Ian Wolstenholme was born in Pietermaritzburg and went to school at Maritzburg College. He received a BA in Philosophy and Classical Civilisation from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and works as a sub-editor at the Mercury newspaper in Durban. He spends most of his free time working on personal photographic projects.
Steven Kotze attended school at Maritzburg College. He graduated from the University of KwaZulu-Natal with an Honours degree in History (cum laude), and teaches history and writing at the Vega School of Branding in Durban. A winner of two Loeries, a silver commendation from the New York Design Guild and a D&AD award, his work is regularly published in magazines and travel journals.